East West Link sparks Federal-State stoush while locals’ lives turned upside down

From ABC News​ Victoria & ABC 7.30​ (12 March 2015)
First up on ABC News Victoria: Tony Abbott believes East West Link is still a thing, then ABC 730 segment featuring Mary Fenelon on home acquisition issues & more on Daniel Andrews vs. Tony Abbott.

ABC 730: East West Link sparks Federal-State stoush while locals’ lives turned upside down

As the Victorian government tried to get out of the East West Link deal and avoid paying compensation for it, the Prime Minister is urging them not to and local residents are dealing with the ways their lives have already been irrevocably changed.

From Letters to The Age: Trapped in quagmire (12 March 2015)

On October 16 last year (147 days ago), 102 properties were compulsorily acquired by Linking Melbourne Authority for the East West Link. Since then, about 86 properties have been voluntarily acquired. Most owners remain in limbo, unable to move on with their lives as they wait for acquisitions to be reversed or finalised.

It has been 103 days since Labor won power in Victoria. This would seem a reasonable amount of time for the appropriate authority to unravel this complex mess that the Coalition forced on property owners. Anxious residents demand clarification and direction. Surely it is not too much to ask that the Victorian government communicate and assure us of its plans and timetable to resolve this mess.

Keith Fitzgerald, Collingwood

East West Link: The end has a start

ABC News Victoria segment about negotiating the end of this dud project, and subsequent news articles on possible Victorian government developments on special legislation to block consortium compo claims due to Napthines dodgy side letter. BTW, is Joe the Hockey still crossing his fingers in futile hope this monstrosity gets built?

Guardian: East West Link: Labor admits it will have to reach compensation settlement (20 January 2015)
Some members of the consortium that was due to build Melbourne’s dumped toll road are reportedly demanding $1.2bn. Labor has backtracked on a Victorian election promise that no compensation would be paid for scrapping Melbourne’s East West Link just two months after coming to power. Before the election, Labor leader Daniel Andrews said no compensation would be paid, and the contracts “aren’t worth the paper they’re written on”. Labor wrote to the East West Connect consortium in December requesting a halt to work on the controversial road tunnel project that was approved by the previous state government.

The Age: Daniel Andrews won’t rule out using parliament to block East West Link compensation. Richard Willingham, State Political Correspondent. (20 January 2015)
‘Dud project’: An artist’s impression of East-West Link, which Daniel Andrews has vowed to scrap. Premier Daniel Andrews could use special legislation to avoid paying more than $1 billion in compensation to the East West Link consortium. The state government may have to make the payments to the East West Connect consortium, as flagged by then treasurer Michael O’Brien before the election last year. On Tuesday, Mr Andrews would not rule out using legislation to avoid paying compensation. The Greens, who hold a critical five votes in the upper house, would support any such move.

ABC: East West Link: Government will not rule out legislating to avoid paying compensation (20 January 2015)
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has refused to rule out introducing legislation to avoid paying compensation over dumping Melbourne’s East West Link project. The Government is in talks with the companies contracted to build the road and has refused to discuss the amount of compensation it could be facing under the project’s secret contract. In Opposition, Mr Andrews maintained there would be no compensation payable because the contract was not valid. He said he would not rule out passing legislation to avoid paying compensation.

Talks on East West Link compo to start

The Australian: Talks on East West Link compo to start 23 December 2014

The new Victorian government has canned plans for the East West Link project. Source: Supplied

NEGOTIATIONS are to begin today over potential government compensation for the cancelled East West Link amid market speculation of a growing rift between lenders to the $6.8 billion toll road project and the construction consortium led by Lend Lease.

The unwinding of a $3.5bn debt facility, arranged by a group of financiers including the Commonwealth Bank, has emerged as a key issue in resolving the dispute between the state and the ­consortium.

Potentially complicating negotiations, the interests of the lending group have diverged from those of Lend Lease, which was to build the ill-fated project.

Market sources said this was because Lend Lease frequently bids for government projects and needs to maintain a good relationship with the state, while the banks are more concerned with recovering compensation.

However, a spokesman for the consortium said it was “united”. Continue Reading…

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